05/18/08 — City Council to hold budget public hearing

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City Council to hold budget public hearing

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on May 18, 2008 2:01 AM

The Goldsboro City Council will hold eight public hearings Monday, including one regarding the proposed $48.2 million 2008-09 budget.

Despite an earlier recommendation by City Manager Joe Huffman to raise the property tax rate by five cents, councilmen have since agreed to keep it at the current 65-cent-per-$100-value level.

There will, however, likely be increases in both water and refuse rates -- 10 percent and 50 cents more per month, respectively.

Huffman explained that the need for the refuse increase is due to state mandates pushing rates up at the Wayne County landfill, while the water increase is planned to help pay for future water system projects.

The tax hike had been put forward as a way to meet increasing operating costs, due in large part to higher fuel prices, and to pay for the city's aggressive building plans, which include the reconstruction of the Paramount Theatre, the renovation of City Hall and Union Station, and the construction of the John Street parking lot and the Community Building.

But councilmen vowed last week that they would make funding cuts and find other revenue sources, such as the occupancy tax, to balance the $48,203,008 budget -- $2,360,349 more than the 2007-08 budget.

The other three public hearings will be held regarding conditional use permits.

The first is a permit requested by the Family YMCA to allow the operation of a child care facility that would serve 45 children in the rear of the building located on the south side of Harding Drive between North Park Drive and New Hope Road.

The second permit, requested by Arthur Tanner, would allow the use of an existing garage as an accessory dwelling on property located on the north side of Old Mill Place between Granville Drive and Mill Branch.

The third conditional use permit, requested by Jack Thomas, is regarding the operation of a restaurant, sports bar and entertainment center on property located on the east side of U.S. 117 South between George Street and Arrington Bridge Road.

The location was granted a permit in 2003 for the operation of "Ricky Rat'z," but the establishment has since closed, and is currently being utilized as a restaurant with games. The addition of pool tables and ABC permits, though, will require a new permit.

Two of the hearings are regarding rezoning requests.

Landvest Development Inc. is requesting that property located on the west side of Wayne Memorial Drive between New Hope Road and Tommy's Road still keep the office and institutional zoning but with certain amendments.

Cosimo Santoro is requesting that property located on the south side of East Ash Street between Carriage Road and Meadow Road be changed from a residential and noise overlay zone to residential conditional district and noise overlay zone to allow a maximum of four residential units.

A public hearing also will be held regarding an amendment to the Demolition by Neglect Ordinance, which helps the city keep buildings in disrepair from being broken into and vandalized.

Areas for sanitary sewer improvements also will be discussed during a public hearing.

Those are: U.S. 117 from Elm Street to 2,000 feet north, Branch Street from Vann Street to Truman Street, Oak Forest Road from U.S. 70 East to 700 feet south, Amherst Road from Balsam Place to Amherst Place, New Hope Road from Reedy Branch to 2,000 feet east of Best Road, Twin Oaks Place from New Hope Road to the terminus of Twin Oaks Place and Granville Drive from Fedelon Trail to Beverly Lane.

In other business, the council will discuss budget amendments, a fire district amendment, installation of a water line, multi-use path easements and the closing of certain city streets for the Dillard/Goldsboro Alumni and Friends Parade.

Members also are expected to hear a presentation by Judy Hills of the Eastern Carolina Council on her report of the city's recreation facilities.

The council will meet at 7 p.m., following a 5 p.m. work session, both open to the public.